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Recruiting: De'Anthony Thomas picks Oregon

February 2, 2011 |  6:56 pm

After a day of rumors, suspense and intrigue, Los Angeles Crenshaw running back De'Anthony Thomas, the Los Angeles City Section player of the year, announced at a Wednesday evening news conference that he had selected Oregon as his college choice. It was an emotional decision, because he had tears going down his cheeks.

Thomas committed to USC last May and had insisted for months that the Trojans would be his college destination. But he visited Oregon last weekend, and said he felt comfortable in Eugene.

"I loved it," he said.

Thomas made the announcement at Crenshaw. He's one of the most recognizable teenage athletes in Los Angeles. He picked up the nickname, "Black Mamba," when he was a youth football phenom, but he said Wednesday he will be now known as, "Baby DT." That's the nickname he was given in Oregon. Another Ducks player with DT initials is quarterback Darron Thomas.

His speed and athleticism earned him the reputation as the No. 1 football prospect in California. He said he informed USC Coach Lane Kiffin of his decision on Tuesday.

"Today has been a long day," Thomas said. "I got at least 100 calls."

-- Eric Sondheimer